July Chairman's Report
Many times when talking to fanciers and club members they tell me how being involved “in dogs” has enriched their lives tremendously and that whenever they have the opportunity they look for ways “to give back to the sport of purebred dogs.”
This spirit of volunteerism exists all around us in the fancy. Among those who donate their time to further AKC’s mission and give back to the sport are the more than 4,000 volunteers from AKC-affiliated clubs who proudly assume the title of Public Education Coordinator (PEC) and Canine Ambassador. The AKC Public Education department works with these dedicated volunteers to educate the public about responsible dog ownership, the AKC, purebred dogs and our sport.
Recently, AKC’s Director of Public Education Larry Sorenson began taking his extensive knowledge on the road to share with clubs as part of a new education training program for PECs, Canine Ambassadors and club officers. Program attendees learn how to most effectively educate the public at their club’s next show or community event; receive one-on-one assistance on setting-up, staffing and preparing for an education booth; and share strategies for successful school and library visits or summer camp and 4-H club presentations. Clubs also learn how to order a custom-made PEC kit filled with helpful publications and materials to suit their next education activity whether it’s at a mall, dog show or county fair.
The inaugural training sessions were held at the Oklahoma City Kennel Club and the Mid-Del Tinker Kennel Club dog shows at the beginning of this month. The next scheduled session is at the Leavenworth Kennel Club dog show on August 25 and the Heart of America Kennel Club dog show on August 26 in Kansas City, MO. For more information or to sign-up for this free opportunity please contact AKC Public Education email@example.com or call 919-816-3712.
Besides providing training for PECs and Canine Ambassadors, the department also develops and distributes the AKC's educational materials for children. The AKC Children's Education Catalog features the “Best Friends” and “Safety Around Dogs” teaching kits as well as other resources for use by educators, teachers and parents. In addition, the department is expanding its outreach to organizations already geared toward educating youngsters and teenagers across the country. This year the AKC Booth will be at the National 4-H Club Conference offering valuable resources to thousands of nationwide 4-H representatives.
Anyone who has an interest in public education can access a wide variety of resources on the AKC web site including reproducibles that contain games and puzzles for children that encourage responsible dog ownership and safe behavior around dogs. These, as well as our Kid’s Corner online newsletter, can be accessed at: http://www.akc.org/public_education/index.cfm
I applaud those who contribute to the sport of purebred dogs by striving to publicly educate current and future dog owners, including the nation’s youth, to ensure that the dog successfully continues in its role as “man’s best friend.”
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